Kartell – Plastic Fantastic

Kartell is an Italian company that makes and sells plastic contemporary furniture. The company, based in Milan, began manufacturing automobile accessories in 1949. It expanded into home furnishings in 1963. Kartells main aim and challenge was to introduce plastic to the home and to replace glass with plastic, not only for the home but for laboratory equipment.

In 1999 Kartell opened their very own museum to highlight and document the technology and rich history of their product design.

Kartell’s ethics are all about pushing the boundaries with what can be done with plastic. The combination of World famous designers who collaborate with Kartell to acheive this, include Philippe Starck, Ron Arad, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Antonio Citterio, Ferruccio Laviani, Piero Lissoni, Patricia Urquiola, Marcel Wanders, Vico Magistretti and Maarten Van Severen.

Some of our stand out products from the Kartell range are shown below.

Kartell Taj Mini
Kartell Taj Mini lights, LED touch technology at its best

The Taj Mini light introduced to the collection in 2103 features a touch dimmer on the head of the curve that controls and allows you to dim the LED light. A simple yet stunning design available in 7 different colours.

Cool Kitchen
Sleek Italian Kitchen with Kartell Masters Chairs and TopTop table designed by Philippe Starck

One of our favourite products is the Masters Dining chair. A powerful tribute to the three chair symbol, re-read and re-interpreted by the creative genius of Philippe Starck. The “Series 7” or Ant Chair by Arne Jacobsen, The “Tulip Armchair” by Eero Saarinen and the “DSR” or Eiffel Tower Chair by Charles and Ray Eames interweave their unmistakable silhouettes into a sinuous hybrid giving life to a fusion of original and engaging styles. Amazing design with the chair having a special finish making it feel velvety and sensual to the touch. The Masters Chair was honoured with the prestigious “2010 Good Design Award” presented by the Chicago Athenaeum – Museum of Architecture and Design. Masters Chair is light, practical, comes in 6 colours, can be stacked and used outdoors.

Louis Ghost Chair and Jolly Table by Kartell
Louis Ghost Chair and Jolly Table by Kartell

One of the most recognisable products is the Louis Ghost Chair designed by Philippe Starck. Louis Ghost Transparent dining chair is an icon of modern day furniture design. Reinventing the classic Louis XV armchair for Kartell, the playful Louis Ghost Armchair is typical of Philippe Starcks imagination and Kartells skill with creating amazing furniture. Louis Ghost can be stacked upto 6 chairs high and can be used indoor or outdoor. Available in 2 solid Glossy colours or 6 equally stunning Transparent colours.

Bourgie Light
Bourgie Light looks striking against this zingy wallpaper

Bourgie is one of Kartells best sellers, becoming an icon of Modern Lighting design. Kartells skill with this light is combining classic style, richness and tradition with innovation and irony. The baroque style base is composed of 3 interconnecting decorated layers, while the large lampshade is made with a pleated effect to create a myriad play of reflections when the light is turned on. The lampshades unique attachment system lets the user set the height to 3 different settings – 68, 73 or 78cm.

Kartell Products
Iconic Kartell products including Bookworm, Attila the Gnome, Eros, Bubble, Spoon Chair, Comback ….

Watch some interesting videos about Kartell products on the their YouTube channel by clicking here.

With over 60 years trading Kartell are a giant in Italian furniture and lighting design. Buying a piece of Kartell means your being into a special and rich history…. We love Kartell!!!

The Team at Cimmermann

Images Credits –
http://www.kartell.it/

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Arne Jacobsen – Danish Design Icon

 Arne Jacobsen (1902-1971) was one of Denmark’s most influential architects and designers. A hero to lovers of Nordic style – his Swan and Egg chairs are iconic – no visit to Copenhagen is complete without taking in some of his legacy.
 
Although he is known today mostly for his modernist furniture, Jacobsen actually disapproved of the term designer, considering himself an architect first and foremost. Indeed many of the furnishings that established his reputation were initially part of the overall designs of his architectural projects. He was a modernist and naturalist that prized utility.
 
Fastidious to the point of distraction, Jacobsen was noted for his close attention-to-detail in everything connected to a structure, from its grounds to its interior furnishings. It became a trademark, perhaps best illustrated by the SAS Hotel in Copenhagen that he designed in the late fifties, where Jacobsen assumed responsibility for everything from the striking cigar-box shape down to the ashtrays in the rooms. Like much of Jacobsen’s architectural work, the hotel was initially controversial with a public that disapproved of the stark, almost brutish geometric forms. Yet is has now become a defining landmark on the Copenhagen skyline and is considered the world’s first “designer hotel.”

SAS Hotel in Copenhagen
Reception area of the SAS Hotel designed by Jacobsen. Image courtesy of http://www.stardustmoderndesign.com/
Room 606
Room 606 at the SAS Hotel in Copenhagen. Image Courtesy of http://youhavebeenheresometime.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/room-606-sas-house-and-work-of-arne.html
Egg Chair
Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair in Room 606 – sublime. Image courtesy of http://www.phaidon.com/resource/008-001.jpg
He had originally planned to become a painter, but switched to architecture at the suggestion of his father, who viewed it as a more secure future. Jacobsen’s artistic skill is evident though in his surviving presentation drawings. Having studied under Kay Fisker at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Jacobsen won plaudits early in his career, and became known for his avant-garde, ultra-modernist outlook, as well as an abject refusal to compromise on quality at any step.
 
In 1943 Jacobsen escaped to Sweden, where he focused on wallpaper and fabrics, before returning after the war to a Denmark in urgent need of housing and new public buildings, that welcomed his Spartan, cost-effective approach. Architectural functionalism was embraced by the Danes in the sixties, and Jacobsen’s work was in great demand. Many large commissions followed, but by this stage his furniture was also meeting significant critical approval.
 
Having travelled extensively in his youth, whilst Jacobsen’s designs never relinquished their Danish roots, they also possessed a distinct international outlook. Perhaps his best-known work, the innovative Seven Series chair, was inspired by his American contemporaries Charles and Ray Eames and their work with plywood bent into several dimensions. It went on to sell over five million units, and become possibly the world’s most copied chair design, one of which was made notorious by Christine Keeler’s provocative pose. Like so much of Arne Jacobsen’s output, the Seven Series was notable not only for style, but functionality – lightweight, stackable and compact, a Modernist’s dream.

Keeler on Ant Chair
Famous image with Christine Keeler posing on an Ant Chair. Image courtesy of http://placetobebcn.blogspot.co.uk/
 
Arne Jacobsen’s Ant, Egg and Swan chairs similarly went on to become timeless design classics, instantly recognisable by their unique silhouettes. Jacobsen also produced the Cylinda Line of tableware for Stelton, which made waves with their brushed stainless-steel finish and simplistic cylindrical outlines.

Arne Jacobsen Cylinda
Fashion designer Paul Smith has reworked a coffee pot by late Danish designer Arne Jacobsen to mark the 50th anniversary of Danish brand Stelton. Image courtesy of Dezeen

 
To Jacobsen, the thought of relaxation was completely alien, and several of his projects were still to be completed at the time of his death. He was known for inflicting punishing round-the-clock schedules on his team, and for his perfectionism (born from a need to test the outer reaches of his design and materials) that led to frequent delays. Yet this avuncular pipe-smoker also had a great sense of fun, as can easily be seen in the charming illuminated “mushroom” canopy of his early filling-station at Skovshoved, and the comic lifeguard towers at one of his best-remembered projects, the Bellevue Beach Complex.

Petrol Station - Arne Jacobsen
Futuristic Petrol Station designed by Arne Jacobsen. Image courtesy of – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skovshoved_Petrol_Station

Jacobsen designed some stunning lights, our favourites being the Bellevue light in 1929 and the AJ1 suspension light which he designed specifically for the Hotel SAS in Copenhagen.

Bellevue Floor Light
&Tradition Bellevue floor light. Image courtesy of http://www.blogcatalog.com/blogs/stylizimo-blog

Arne Jacobsen to summarize was a Danish design visionary and genius. Without him today design would be different.

The Team at Cimmermann

 
Credits and Links:

http://www.blogcatalog.com/blogs/stylizimo-blog

http://www.phaidon.com/resource/008-001.jpg

http://youhavebeenheresometime.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/room-606-sas-house-and-work-of-arne.html

http://www.dezeen.com/2010/03/01/cylinda-and-dot-by-paul-smith-for-stelton/

http://placetobebcn.blogspot.co.uk/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kay_Fisker

http://www.stardustmoderndesign.com/

Muuto – New Brand in Focus

Muuto is a young company but already an internationally successful design company. Their vision is to keep adding new chapters to the already inspirational Scandinavian design history. This vision is emphasised by the name Muuto – inspired by the Finnish word ‘muutos’, meaning ‘change’ or ‘new perspective.’

Already firmly rooted in Scandinavian design culture, they hand pick the best designers from Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark, and give them the freedom to express their design philosophy when designing everyday home interior products.

From the very beginning, the two founders of Muuto – Peter Bonnén and Kristian Byrge were
highly ambitious and strived to have their products represented in leading design shop all
around the world. Today, just 7 years after the company was founded, Muuto’s collection
of furniture, lighting and accessories is sold in more than 1000 of the World’s leading design shops on six continents. And more than 50 new designs have been launched from around 30 leading designers as TAF Architects, Norway Says, Anderssen & Voll, Lars Tornøe and Louise Campbell, all sharing Muuto’s ambition of reviving the proud Scandinavian design tradition.

We pick some of the stand out pieces from the Muuto collection –

Nerd Chair

Nerd Chairs
Muuto Nerd Chairs – cool colours

While the appearance of Nerd is unique, the overall expression, material and craftsmanship all have references to classic Scandinavian design values. Nerd is a chair that stands out as a very personal and distinct interpretation of an all-wood chair. Muuto Nerd Chair comes in 8 beautiful colours.

Rest Sofa

Rest Sofa
Rest Sofa – comfort at a premium!!!

Rest by Muuto is one of the most comfortable sofas we have ever sat on. The relaxed form combined with the solid wood frame make the Rest a comfortable and modern sofa design. The Rest Three Seater Sofa is available in a number of fabrics and in a wide choice of colours. Sitting on Oak legs the Rest sofa oozes Scandinavian elegance and design.

Mini Stacked

Muuto Stacked
Muuto Stacked – great idea for kitchen storage

The Mini Stacked system by Muuto provides a storage solution with infinite potential.  Cubes hang neatly on the wall either individually or together, creating a stylish and functional storage system. Boxes can be clipped together using the clips. Mini Stacked is available in 9 different individual blocks and with 4 different clip colours – White, grey, Yellow and Rose.

70/70 table

70/70 table
70/70 Table – concrete and soft lighting

The 70/70 table is a study in geometric forms identifying the dimensions for a well-balanced table. It has an almost anonymous expression but with careful detailing. The table is based upon two cast aluminium squared frames with the dimensions 70 x 70 cms. The simple Scandinavian aesthetics balanced with the warmth from the layered wood adds personality to the table with multiple functions, from dining table to home office. 70/70 table by Muuto is available in 2 different sizes and 4 different colours.

Leaf Table Lamp

Muuto Leaf Light
Leaf Light in green – love this colour

Leaf Light successfully fuses together LED technology with stunning design. Depending on the viewing angle and how the shade is turned, Leaf table lamp will subtly transform its shape to create a graphic and leaf-like silhouette in the room. Leaf by Muuto is also available in a floor version. Leaf comes in 5 beautiful colours options.

Reflect Sideboard & Drawers

Reflect Drawers by Muuto
Reflect Drawers – love the curved handles

Reflect by Muuto owes its stunning and unique looks to the phenomenon under which it was envisioned: The natural light of Scandinavia. The four corners on each front have a unique thickness and curve that contributes to the light reflections of the drawers. Muuto Reflect is available in two different colours – Black or Natural Oak. Reflect has 2 drawers on the right hand side and 2 doors on the left handside.

To get more design inspiration watch this video from Muuto

We love the colours and designs Muuto use – sure you will too, view the Muuto Collectioin

Credits & Links:

http://www.muuto.com/files/Muuto%20Background%20Information_2013.pdf

5 Things We Love About Vitra

Vitra the Swiss furniture giants are without doubt a favourite here at Cimmermann. Functional yet inspiring – engineering excellence fused with creative genius. Here are five things we love about them:

1.Design process

The Vitra production facilities combine engineering excellence and creativity of leading designers that marry together function, quality & inspiration. Eames, Citterio, Prouve, Jasper Morrison, Bouroullec Brothers and many more all contribute to Vitra producing the worlds most recognisable and desirable furniture. We were lucky enough to visit the Vitra Factory in October and witness first hand the degree of quality control, production testing and love that goes into each product. One room is called the furniture Torture room – imagine for yourself the stringent tests the furniture goes through in there!! We saw first hand the production of the Eames Lounge Chair, from the gluing of the springs that attach the wooden frame to the upholstered seat to the assembly of these components, all done with love by hand.

Vitra Eames Lounge Chairs
Eames Lounge Chairs waiting for assembly

2. Longevity – Design Classics

We all know and love the  DSW Chairs, Eames Lounge Chair, DSR Chairs – these are all Design Classics by Vitra. To us a Design Classic is a piece of furniture whose design has stood the test of time and looks as inspiring and beautiful as the day it was produced. Ray & Charles Eames are possibly the most prominent and inspirational designers, their furniture is so recognisable and without it furniture design would be different today – and to think their relationship with Vitra started in the 1950’s.

Vitra Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman
The sublime Vitra Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman

3. Vitra Campus architecture

Our recent visit to the Vitra Campus allowed us to witness some amazing architecture. Rolf Felbaum the current Vitra CEO is so passionate about architecture he has recruited some of the worlds leading architects to design functional and inspiring building’s to house their production facilities, have their meetings in and showcase their furniture. Our favourite was the Zaha Hadid Fire Station or the Tadao Ando Conference Centre – both built with concrete but very different in their look and function. A real treat is the Frank Gehry building – curvy lines in abundance. The newest addition to the Vitra Campus is the SANAA Production facility, the exterior from a distance looks like a wavy fabric and shimmers a beautiful blue hue in the Swiss sunlight – simply stunning.

Vitra and SANAA
SANAA building on the Vitra Campus
Inside the Zaha Hadid Fire
Inside the Zaha Hadid Fire Station at Vitra HQ
aTadao Ando Conference Centre
Tadao Ando Conference Centre and Vegetal Chairs

4. Jean Prouve

Not so well known as Ray and Charles Eames but Jean Prouve was an astonishing designer. Prouve trained as a metal worker and was a self-taught architect and designer. His furniture designs can be quite raw and expose the workings down to their basic form. Prouve was born in 1901 in France, a major achievement of his was transferring manufacturing technology from industry to architecture and furniture, without losing aesthetic qualities. Vitra are lucky enough to work with his family and have the rights to produce and sell his furniture collection. The stand out pieces are the Standard and Standard SP Dining Chair, a beautiful combination of lacquered metal and rich wood colours. The perfect office desk for today’s laptop/tablet generation is the Compas Direction Desk, perfect in every way.

Vitra Compas Direction Desk by Jean Prouve
Vitra Compas Direction Desk in the Vitra Haus by Jean Prouve

5. The VitraHaus, Vitra’s flagship store

What more can be said about the stunning VitraHaus? Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, it is Vitra’s flagship store and home to the Vitra Home Collection. Here, you can view room sets in different design styles, which include both the great Vitra classics and the latest contemporary designs. The way the different houses seem to balance on one another is an architecture feat I think only Herzog & De Meuron know how to achieve. We would recommend a visit if you can, it is a treat for any architecture geek!

Vitra Haus
Vitra Haus, images courtesy of Dezeen
Vitrahaus roomset
Cool room set in the VitraHaus
Vitra is inspiring, no other company offers the range of products and the most unique base to create and display their stunning furniture.

The Team at Cimmermann